Late for Work 4/19: Which QB Will Go To Super Bowl First? Flacco vs. Ryan

Plus the Ravens have ‘good shot’ for home season opener and exploring trade predictions.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 at 9:01 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Which QB Will Go To Super Bowl First? Flacco vs. Ryan

According to ESPN’s John Clayton, Mark Schlereth, Tim Hasselbeck and 57 percent of SportsNation voters, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will beat Joe Flacco in the race to a Super Bowl appearance.

 The only person who seems to be in Flacco’s corner is ESPN AFC North Blogger James Walker.

But Walker’s logic solidly stands up against the opinion of the masses.

The No. 3- and No. 18-overall picks of the 2008 draft have eerily similar regular-season stats, so analysts were forced to look at each QB’s supporting teams and conferences to differentiate between the two.

Both Schlereth and Hasselbeck believe the “window is closing” on Baltimore because of its aging defense and unresolved receiver corps, while Walker says the Ravens are “built to win now” and are closer to a Super Bowl run than the budding Atlanta franchise.

Clayton argues that the NFC is the weaker conference, giving Ryan an easier road to the championship game. Flacco is required to beat today’s current list of elite quarterbacks, says Clayton, and Ryan is competing against the next possible set of elite quarterbacks.

The odds are stacked against Flacco the next few years because he operates in the AFC,” wrote Clayton. “Brady has 14 playoff victories. Roethlisberger has 10 playoff victories, Manning nine, Sanchez four and Rivers three.”

But even in Ryan’s “easier” conference with a “better” supporting cast, Walker says Flacco holds the trump card.

“Last I checked, you have to win a playoff game before you win the Super Bowl,” Walker wrote.

Under Ryan, the Falcons have advanced to the playoffs twice, but the last time the franchise actually won a post-season battle was when Michael Vick – not Ryan – was the quarterback. Meanwhile, Flacco has led the Ravens to three playoff berths and has four playoff wins under his belt.

In each of those playoff visits, the Ravens lost to the eventual AFC champion. For the 0-2 Ryan, the Super Bowl “isn’t even in the same area code.”

“Ryan gets all the hype from the 2008 quarterback class, but his career stats are virtually identical to Flacco’s. What is not identical is Flacco’s playoff success and higher probability of getting to the Super Bowl,” says Walker.

“Until [Ryan] figures out how to win in the postseason – at least once – there’s no reason he should be in any Super Bowl conversation with [Flacco].”


Ravens Have ‘Good Shot’ for Home Season Opener

Get your popcorn ready.

The NFL schedule will be released tonight at 7 p.m. and there’s a good shot the Ravens will play their season opener in Charm City, says The Baltimore Sun’s Jamison Hensley.

Hensley  bases his opinion on the fact that the Orioles will play at Toronto on Sept. 11, so Baltimore’s downtown area will be wide open to kickoff the 2011 NFL season. Looking ahead at other Orioles matchups, the Ravens could travel on Sept. 18 and play at home on Sept. 25.

“Because the Ravens likely have to travel in Week 2, that increases the chances of the Ravens playing at home for the season opener,” wrote Hensley. “It would be difficult for the NFL to start the Ravens with two road games in consecutive seasons.”

Ravens Trading in First-Round Becoming Popular Prediction

No one is talking about that possibility [of the Ravens trading in the first round] as the 2011 draft approaches, but the only time in the past five years that it hasn’t happened was in 2007,” wrote’s John Eisenberg.

Up until a few weeks ago, that statement would have been a little truer, but as of late, more and more analysts foresee the possibility of the Ravens making a move with their 26th pick.

In addition to Eisenberg,’s Peter King sees the Ravens dealing their first pick and ESPN’s Mel Kiper is predicting “a lot” of first-round trades.

“The Baltimore Ravens always like to move around in the draft,” said King. “[I] would not be surprised to see them try to move up ahead of a team like Philadelphia, which has a lot of like needs. Or to move back to get more picks. [General Manager] Ozzie Newsome loves to be able to get value, especially for his first-round pick.”

When the Ravens moved out of the first round last year to select pass rusher Sergio Kindle, it marked the third straight year (and fourth in the past five) that Newsome traded out of his original pick (the Ravens traded back and then up again for Flacco in 2008 and they jumped up three slots to grab tackle Michael Oher in 2009).

“While there’s no telling what moves Newsome might pull next week, he would be wise to at least keep the Ravens in the first round this year,” wrote Eisenberg. “As a general rule, teams get higher-quality talent there, and the Ravens have their share of needs.”


Quick Hits

  • Former Ravens Owner Art Modell on William Donald Schaefer, former Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor, who died Monday at age 89: “He’s the reason the Ravens are here. He laid the foundation first as Baltimore’s mayor and as governor of Maryland when he championed the funding of a new stadium. In fact, champion is the right word. Gov. Schaefer was a champion for Baltimore, for Maryland and for the common man.” [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Pete Prisco came out with his annual Top 100 NFL Players ranking, first listing players 100-51. Outside linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs was No. 51, linebacker Ray Lewis was No. 67 and running back Ray Rice was No. 94. []
  • RavensInsider: Georgia WR Kris Durham has visited Jaguars, Ravens, Bengals, Lions, 49ers and Seahawks [Twitter]

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